1 small onion, cut into ¾-inch pieces
2 tablespoons chili powder
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
¾ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
½ cup chicken broth
12 ounces 90 percent lean ground beef
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS A great beef chili usually starts with developing layers of flavor by sautéing aromatics and spices, then the beef, then adding the other ingredients, usually in a large Dutch oven. It involves lots of chopping and lots of standing by the stove. For a weeknight-friendly chili we could make in the Ace blender, we decided to create the tomatoey chili base first, using the blender to assemble a thick, flavorful mixture. But first we bloomed the spices in the microwave along with whole peeled garlic cloves, chunks of onion, and tomato paste. We added this mixture to the blender along with a large can of whole tomatoes and processed it until nearly smooth. This thick mixture provided a base for our chili minus any simmering or reduction. To this base we added canned kidney beans and selected the chunky soup function on the blender. And what about the ground beef? We broke it into smallish chunks, paused the soup function, and added the beef 15 minutes before the function ended. The beef cooked through perfectly in the hot chili base and all the flavors and textures melded into a fragrant chili—no stovetop work required. Serve with your favorite chili toppings.
1. Microwave onion, chili powder, garlic, oil, tomato paste, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to Ace blender along with tomatoes and their juice and broth. Lock lid in place, then process on medium speed until vegetables are finely ground, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of blender jar. Return lid and process on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
2. Select soup program 1 (for chunky soups). Meanwhile, break ground beef into rough ½-inch pieces; transfer to plate and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Pause program 15 minutes before it has completed. Carefully remove lid and stir beans and ground beef pieces into chili until completely submerged. Return lid and resume program, pausing occasionally to stir ingredients that have settled to base of blender jar. Once program has completed, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.